Scuba Diving Certification Levels

Scuba diving certification levels were born to maximize safety during the practice of this sport. Each diver has a certification card, which attests his qualification. This is important in order to book a diving trip, select the equipment, choose the type of air and even to find a job as a professional diver. Become a certified divers has many advanges.

What is a PADI certification?

PADI, or the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, offers recreational diving memberships and dive training with different scuba diving certification levels. 

When you successfully complete any of the PADI courses, you will be delivered a scuba diving PADI certificate. PADI courses provide education in diving skills, safety information and local environmental knowledge. 

This focus on environmental knowledge explains why, for example, it is important to protect underwater ecosystems. Courses also encourage all new divers to use their skills and qualifications to spread awareness about global ocean conservation issues. 

Recreational PADI certifications

Depending on your scuba diving certification level, anyone will know that you have the experience, knowledge and skills required by the different training agencies. Some of the most known and recognized ones are CMASSSI, NAUI, and, of course, the largest diving training organization in the world, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). Reading this article, you will know its scuba diving certification levels.

 The PADI recreational diving certification levels are the following:

PADI Scuba Diver

To Start

The PADI Scuba Diver is the first scuba diving certification level indicated for those who do not have too much time. The knowledge you will acquire will allow you to dive to a maximum depth of 12m / 40 feet and always be accompanied by a professional diver. You cannot go diving on your own with only another certified diver as your dive buddy at this level. You need professional guidance.

Open Water Diver (OWD)

A Scuba Diving Certification Level That Gives You Autonomy.

The most important of this Open water diver PADI course is to learn to manage yourself and your scuba gear underwater. At the end of this course, you will be an independent certified diver, which means that you can choose your dive partner freely and just go diving by yourselves. You no longer need the presence of a professional diver. From this moment you will be able to dive with any other certified diver. But keep in mind that there are depth limitations at this level: 18m / 59ft for adults and 12m / 40ft.

Advanced Open Water Diver (AOWD)

Third Amateur Scuba Diving Certification Level.

This thrird of the recreational scuba diving certification levels will allow you to improve your experience as a diver and expand your knowledge in this field. The biggest difference with the previous level is that being an AOWD you can dive deeper. Your new depth limit will be 30 meters or 100 feet.

Rescue Divers

A scuba diving level to giving you more responsabilities in the water

The Rescue Diver course focuses its content on developing your rescue skills. When you finish this course, you will be a much safer diver capable of preventing problems and dealing with emergencies in the unlikely case that they occur.

Professional Scuba Diving Certification Levels

Dive Master

Scuba Diving Certification Level to Start Your Professional Career.

When you are certified as a Dive Master you can start working in the diving industry.  From the moment you finish this first level of professional training you will be able to help the Dive Instructors during their classes and you will become a group guide. This level of diving certification can still be awarded by an instructor.

Assistant Instructors

Always Ready To Help.

Those who teach and train future divers are diving instructors. However, they often need assistants. This is the role played by this professional once certified. An Assistant Instructor can give theoretical classes to future divers during their training. In addition, he or she can evaluate their performance in surface exercises. However, this professional can certify nobody. Only a diving Instructor can do it.

Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI)

Scuba Diving Certification Level That Allows You to Certify Others.

Do the “Instructor Development Course” or IDC if what you really want is to become a Dive Instructor. Even though your “Course Director” is in charge of training you, an official PADI examiner will be the one who certifies you as an instructor. Now, you will be the teacher and you will be able to train and grant the different scuba diving certification levels as well.